Kintyre Thunderstorm

Kintyre Thunderstorm

With the forecast not looking great I decided to take a chance and head out between the showers and hopefully capture a Kintyre Thunderstorm during the bad spell of weather.

I was intending using the telephoto lens again however under the conditions on this day the wide angle went on for this shoot and I didn’t fancy changing lenses in the wind at the beach.

Changing Plans

I decided to take my trusted sidekick Cain with me. Our nearly 2 year old Cane Corso. He loves getting out and about with me and when he sees me with my camera bag he gets all excited as he knows the chances are high he is coming also.

We jump into the car and head out as light was getting low but after a few moments I realised I had forgotten his lead, so headed back to the house to collect it and my plans changed in an instant.

Originally we were heading for The Gauldrons where I’ve been a few times but after jumping back into the car and with it facing the opposite way we headed for Bellochantuy, one of my favourite locations instead.


On arrival I could see some big Cumulonimbus clouds out to the West heading inland so I would need to be quick and get a composition.

I had my eye on the large cloud that was down pouring over Islay but I needed a good foreground and with the low tide there was too many rocks visible for my liking. I was starting too wonder if this was going to be one of these days I had turned up too late.

Nothing was sticking out at me! I had hung around for a bit at an area that I want to get an image from but the waves were not crashing against the rock the way I wanted it to so me and Cainyboy had a quick walk down the shoreline.

Crossing the river lead me to realise that me wellies were burst and my foot getting soaked, not much fun.


I kept stopping and checking compositions but it wasn’t happening for me, I was ready to accept that it wasn’t going to be my day and just enjoy the walk with Cain.

But my perseverance paid off. I found a little patch of red rocks that would have looked nice as the foreground contrasting against the cold water and sky.

I had planned for a half second to 0.8 of a second exposure to capture the movement in the water but it didn’t quite go to plan.

The water started to come over the rock formation I was on and come in from the side’s ruling out the back to front motion I was looking for.

The showers were heavy out to the west, I was contemplating moving again as the foreground wasn’t working then a flash! That was my cue to lock the shutter release cable as the drive was on continuous mode and hope for the best.

Image below shot at f14, 0.5 Second, ISO 100:

Kintyre Thunderstorm

I will admit that this is 2 images merged together as I preferred the foreground in on and the sky in the other but settings were the same.

New Spot

I was pleased with the images I had captured from here and could easily have went home happy but I decided to try a different spot and see what it would bring in the continually changing conditions.

I headed about 100m before I seen a rock that I could use. I stood back for a bit to see how the waves were behaving before committing the tripod and camera. I like to give it about 5 minutes just incase but seemed good.

It was a decent spot and really fell into the way I like to shot water motion images. I was achieving my target of 0.5 – 0.8 seconds for exposure and adjusting ISO and / or f stop to ensure the shutter speed remained within that sweet spot.

Image below shot at f11, 0.5 seconds, ISO 200:

Storm Wave at Bellochantuy

I really liked this location. The position of the rock was just right for me and the crashing wave was an added bonus. Every minute or two a wave came rushing in and smashed against the rock.

It took me a few attempts to get this, and an absolute soaking, twice lol. After the wave that crashed against the rocks the water would come rushing in up to knee high, soaking my legs and feet.

I usually stand in the water for these images but not by much but it does go to show how quickly and powerful the sea can be, if you don’t pay attention to your surroundings then you can get easily caught out.

Anyway, once I realised the timings of the wave I just had to wait for it to come back in again and capture it. It worked in nice with the earlier waves in the set as they were heading out when this one was coming in, giving nice foreground interest also.

A nice walk to the beach resulting in some weather images that I had been looking to capture before winter ends but also ended up needing new wellies 🙂


This week my images are posted to The Daily Posts WPC of ‘Story‘. I hope you can see what I am trying to tell in these images.

I am hoping the viewer can see the drama, coldness and motion of the incoming storm as it moves it way towards Kintyre.




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